Irish long-distance runner Sonia O’Sullivan will find herself in unusual surroundings at this Sunday’s BUPA Great North Run in Newcastle.
She will be the very last competitor to start the famous half-marathon, behind over 54,000 professionals and amateurs, and is aiming to overtake as many runners as possible.
The multi-medal winning athlete, who has won the Great North Run twice, thought up the challenge to raise money for UK blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and the Children’s Leukaemia Association at Cork’s Mercy University Hospital in Ireland.
O’Sullivan, whose many achievements during her career included 5,000m silver at the 2000 Olympic Games, is more accustomed to leading the field, having crossed the finish line first at the Great North Run in both 1998 and 2002 and she’s asking people to donate money to her chosen charities for every runner she overtakes during the 13.1-mile race.
She said: “I’m not sure how long it will take me – I’ll have to get through the crowds of runners, which I’m not used to. Hopefully I can overtake as many runners as I can and this will encourage more people to sponsor these two great charities.”
Kate White, Director of Fundraising at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, said: “It’s not often you get to say that you’ve been overtaken by an Olympic medallist!
"The BUPA Great North Run is a fantastic event and we’re so grateful to Sonia for taking on this challenge for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. The money she raises will make a real difference to the lives of people with blood cancers.”
People can sponsor Sonia O’Sullivan’s challenge at www.justgiving.com/fromfronttoback
On Sunday 19 September at the BUPA Great North Run, Sonia will be overtaking hundreds of other members of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research’s Banana Army running team, so called because of their bright yellow t-shirts. The Banana Army is sponsored by TVTimes and Adidas.